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till he come;" and this proves, that | world." Or they fear, lest some the doctrine of the atonement is subsequent fall should be irremedithe most essential part of Chris-able; when Peter denied Christ tianity; and an habitual depend-the very night in which he had both ence on a crucified Saviour, the celebrated the Passover and the grand peculiarity of the Christian Lord's Supper, and yet was gracicharacter. The abuses that have ously restored! This remaining taken place in respect of this ordi- unbelief induces many to hesitate, nance, have at length produced a and often to refuse obedience to lamentable neglect of it; to the this plain command, during their dishonour of the Redeemer, and whole lives: whilst others seem the increase of that lukewarmness, afraid of communicating too freof which it is a manifest indication. quently; or make the languor of No doubt the pharisaical, hypocriti- their affections a reason for absentcal, avaricious, and profane ap-ing themselves, by which it is exproaches of numbers to the Lord's ceedingly increased. But let the table, constitute a most heinous sin, new convert, who would thrive in his which, unless repented of, will vastly profession, speedily begin to consiincrease their final condemnation. der this institution, and deliberately But they, who through ignorance, prepare for attending on it, as soon impiety, carelessness, malice, or as he can do it sincerely: and let secret crimes, are unfit for this holy the believer gladly embrace every ordinance, are equally unprepared opportunity of communicating; avoid for death and judgment: and when whatever may unfit him for it; and they withdraw, as Christians are daily remember the vows of God about to commemorate their dying that are upon him, to live to him, Redeemer, they should consider who died for his salvation. that they allow themselves to have no part or lot in the matter. Nay, indeed, they are as incapable of praying acceptably as of communi


cating worthily, whilst they live in On the State of Separate Spirits, the

Resurrection of the Body, Judgment, and Eternity.

wilful opposition to the commands, and neglect of the salvation of Christ. Some persons withdraw, THE grand design of revealed reliapparently, lest they should make gion is, to draw off our attention and too avowed a profession of religion, affections from things present and or bind themselves too closely to a temporal, and to fix them on things holy life! As if this instance of dis- future and eternal. But yet, such obedience would excuse their con- is the constitution of the universe, formity to the world, and contempt and such the plan of the gospel, that of the favour and authority of their the regulation of our pursuits and Judge! Others are harassed with actions, in subordination to the groundless scruples, lest a well- interests of the unseen state, tends meant but unsuitable approach to to produce by far the greatest the Lord's table should exclude measure of happiness to individuals, them from future pardon; when and to society, which can possibly even the scandalous profanation of be attained in this present life. the Corinthians was only visited by Whatever conjectures or discoveries temporal corrections, "that they the more rational of the heathens might not be condemned with the had made in this interesting con

cern; or whatever intimations God not tell, " whether," during his had given about it to the ancient vision, "he were in the body, or church; it may with the strictest out of the body" (2 Cor. xii. 1-3;) propriety be said, that "life and and he spoke of " being absent immortality have been brought to from the body and present with the light by the gospel." For the new Lord" (2 Cor. v. 8). We freTestament revelation, elucidating quetly read of "the things done in and confirming that of the Old, has the body;" which implies, that the removed all doubt and uncertainty same agent is capable of doing about this future state of existence, things out of the body. It is called except what arises from our want of" the earthly house of our tabernafaith, or acquaintance with the holy cle, which must be dissolved, that Scriptures: it hath given every we may have a building of God, a needful instruction on the important house not made with hands, eternal subject; and hath annexed to it that in the heavens." Then the body authority which is suited to render" shall return to the dust, and the it influential upon our whole con- spirit to God" (Eccles. xii. 7). duct. This information is of the Accordingly we read of "the spirits greatest moment to us; for all error, of just men made perfect," as well obscurity, or uncertainty in this res-as of "an innumerable company of pect, must proportionably enfeeble angels" (Heb. xii. 22, 23). So and unsettle the mind; and deduct that these hints may suffice to show, from the efficacy of those motives, that the system of modern matewhich excite or animate the soul rialists cannot be supported (any to vigorous exertion, self-denying more than the other doctrines of obedience, patient sufferings, or the same school), except by rejectcourageously meeting dangers, in ing the word of God, and treating adhering to the truth and will of the sacred writers as men who God amidst the opposition of this espoused and propagated vulgar evil world; this concluding Essay, errors, whilst they professed to therefore, will contain some thoughts" speak as they were moved by the on the intermediate state, the second Holy Ghost." The Scriptures, coming of Christ, the resurrection moreover, teach us, that both the of the body, and the process, rule, righteous and the wicked, immeand event of judgment. diately on leaving the body, enter

The immortality of the soul is upon their state of happiness or established by the uniform testi- misery. Lazarus was carried, as mony of Scripture; which fully de- soon as he died, into Abraham's clares, not only that it is created bosom; and when "the rich man's capable of endless existence, but body was buried, in hell he lifted also that it is the unalterable pur-up his eyes, being in torments;" pose of the Creator, it should exist whilst his brethren, in his father's to eternity. This can never be house, were following him to the proved by any abstract or metaphysi- same state of misery. Should it cal arguments; as the intention of be urged, that this is a parabolical God can only be known by express representation; we answer, that revelation. The language of holy he, who is truth itself, would never writ constantly implies, that the have spoken those things, even in soul is capable of exerting its powers a parable, which have a direct and faculties, in a state of separation tendency to mislead the reader, and from the body; the apostle could to raise an expectation of a state


which has no existence. But, in-testimony; which, however it may deed, our Lord was pleased to con- be interpreted, must precede the firm this inference by his address resurrection of the dead (Rev. vi. from the cross to the dying thief, 9-11). And here it may be prothis day shalt thou be with me in per to repeat the observation, that Paradise" (Luke xvi. 22-31; the God of truth and love would xxiii. 43); which could not be un-not arrange the circumstances of a less his soul existed in a state of vision in such a manner, as directly happiness, whilst his body lay tended in the most obvious interburied with that of the other male-pretation to mislead men in so mafactor. They, therefore, who deny terial a point. These are a specimen this distinction between soul and of those Scriptural arguments, by body, must suppose our Lord, as which we are induced to expect an well as his apostles, to have been immediate entrance into happiness mistaken. His answer to the Sad- or misery, as soon as we leave ducees, who cavilled about the doc- this world, by an anticipation of trine of the resurrection, is equally that sentence, which will be pubdecisive against those who deny the licly pronounced at the day of judgintermediate state: for "if God be ment. not the God of the dead, but of the Various absurd notions and curiliving," how can he be the God of ous speculations have been formed Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who about this intermediate state; which have been wholly dead during so the use of the word, translated hell, many revolving centuries? (Matt. for the place of separate spirits, xxii. 29-32). The apostle "desired may have in part occasioned. Thus to depart and to be with Christ, as Christ by the prophet expressed far better" than living on earth: [his confidence in the Father, "that but he would not have been any he would not leave his soul in hell, sooner with Christ for departing neither suffer his Holy One to see hence, if he were to lie entirely corruption" (Psalm xvi. 10; Acts under the power of death until the ii. 27-31). Some persons, inresurrection; nor could he "be deed, would explain both these expresent with the Lord, when absent pressions to denote the grave, by a from the body," if he were never very unnatural tautology: but scarce made capable of beholding him till any thing can be more evident, than his second coming. The souls of that by hell is meant the place of those, to whom Christ, by his Spirit separate spirits, to which the huin Noah, preached during the term man soul of Christ repaired, as soon of God's long-suffering while the ark as his body was laid in the grave; was preparing, are represented as till their reunion at his glorious resurbeing in prison at the time when rection. The Scripture seems in gePeter wrote (1 Pet. iii. 19, 20):neral only to inform us, that the souls and John was directed to write, of the righteous, when their earthly "blessed are the dead which die in tabernacle is taken down, are made the Lord, from henceforth," &c. perfect in knowledge, purity, and (Rev. xiv. 13): yea, he saw an in-love; being freed from all remains of numerable company before the sin, removed from every temptation, throne, who were crying for ven-made conquerors over all their enegeance on their persecutors; but mies, exempted from all labours, were required to wait till the rest sorrows, fears and distresses, and of their brethren had finished their admitted into the presence of Christ,

to behold his glory and enjoy his from heaven with his mighty angels, love; that they are qualified to in flaming fire, taking vengeance on join the rapturous worship of angels, them that know not God, and that and to share their felicity, in the obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus full completion of all their spiritual Christ: who shall be punished with desires, in communion with God, everlasting destruction from the and in the society of holy beings; presence of the Lord, and from the that their joys far exceed all that glory of his power; when he shall they could on earth conceive or ima- come to be glorified in his saints, gine, and are fully adequate to their and to be admired in all them that most enlarged capacities, though believe" (2 Thess. i. 7-10). The proportioned to the degree of their Divine Saviour will then personally grace and fruitfulness on earth; appear in the clouds, even as the that nothing is wanting to the abso- apostles beheld him when he aslute completion of their happiness, cended into heaven (Acts i. 11). but that re-union with their bodies, This his second advent shall be for which they wait in joyful hope, ushered in " by the voice of an assured, that then "mortality shall archangel, and the trump of God" be swallowed up of life;" and that, (1 Thess. iv. 16, 17); and shall with adoring acclamations, they immediately be followed by the witness the Redeemer's triumphs resurrection of " the dead in Christ," on earth, and the accomplishment and the change of all such believers of those prophecies, for which they as shall then be found alive upon the fervently prayed, whilst here they earth (1 Cor. xv. 51, 52): afterfought the good fight of faith. On wards by the resurrection of all the other hand, it is manifest from others, who shall have died from the sacred oracles, that the souls of the creation of the world to this the wicked, when they leave the grand consummation of all things: body, "are driven away in their and then the earth and all its works wickedness," under condemnation shall be burnt up by one general and the wrath of God, and under the conflagration. No words, however, power of their vile affections, now can possibly explain, illustrate, or freed from all restraint: and that enable the reader to frame an adethus they immediately sink into a quate conception of this majestic, state of despair and punishment tremendous, yet most delightful proportioned to their crimes, in scene; or of the different emotions which they will continue till the of the righteous and the wicked day of judgment, in dire expectation during this astonishing catastrophe. of that event to complete their What a spectacle of grandeur and misery, by reuniting them to their horror would the conflagration of bodies, as the instruments of their one large city present, were it all crimes, and sharers with their souls at once in flames! What then will in the righteous vengeance of their be the prospect exhibited to the offended Creator. innumerable spectators, when "the After the souls of successive heavens shall pass away with a generations have been thus ga-great noise, and the elements shall thered to their own company, and melt with fervent heat; the earth their bodies have returned to the also, and all the works that are ground whence they were taken, therein, shall be burnt up" (2 Pet. the end will at length arrive; when iii. 10-13). When universal na"the Lord Jesus shall be revealed ture shall, as it were, expire in

convulsions! when the haughtiest according to the working, whereby rebels shall call in vain for rocks he is able even to subdue all things and "mountains to fall on them, to himself" (Phil. iii. 20, 21). We and hide them from the face of their know what appellation the apostle offended Judge!" and when all bestowed on those, who, cavilling possibility of escape or mercy shall at his doctrine, inquired, “ how are vanish for ever! the dead raised, and with what

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The resurrection of the dead is bodies do they come?" (1 Cor. xv. more especially connected with this 35). Questions about identity, and second advent of Christ: "the hour difficulties started about the possiis coming, in the which all that bility of a resurrection, may answer are in the graves shall hear his the purposes of a proud sceptical voice, and shall come forth; they philosophy; but the humble discithat have done good to the resurrec-ple, sitting as a little child at the tion of life; and they that have done Saviour's feet, will allow, that evil to the resurrection of damna- such knowledge is too high for him, tion" (John v. 28, 29). The mul- he cannot attain unto it:" and pertitudes that sleep "in the dust of ceive that it is meet to answer all the earth shall awake, some to ever- such objections by saying, “hath lasting life, and some to shame and God spoken, and shall he not do it?" everlasting contempt" (Dan. xii." Can any thing be too hard for the 2): and there shall be a resur-Lord ?" "We are sure, that our rection, both of the just and of the bodies will be so far raised the unjust." For, as the body is a same, that we shall know ourpart of our nature, and the instru- selves to be the same persons, who ment of the soul in doing good or did such and such things on earth: evil; so it is meet that it should be but " as we must all be changed," raised from the dead, to share the our bodies will not be in all respects happiness or misery which shall be the same. "There is a natural awarded to every one, according to body, and there is a spiritual body;" his works, by the righteous Judge the image of the first, and of the of the world. Little, however, is second "Adam:" and as we have spoken in Scripture concerning the borne the image of the "earthly, resurrection of the wicked, com- we shall also bear the image of the pared with the copious information heavenly:" "that which is sown in there afforded concerning that of corruption, dishonour, and weakthe righteous. By the omnipotent ness, shall be raised in incorruption, word of him, "who is the resurrec- glory, and power." Flesh and tion and the life," the bodies of his blood cannot inherit the kingdom of redeemed people shall first be raised God;" but he will give every one from the dust of the earth, from the his own body, even as he gives to depths of the sea, and from every every seed an increase of the same place in which they have been de-kind that was sown (1 Cor. xv). posited; and being restored to life, When we reflect on the resplendent incorruptible, immortal, and glori- appearance of Christ on the mount ous, they will be reunited to their of transfiguration; and further reimmortal spirits, to participate and collect, that the beloved disciple, increase their unspeakable felicity. who leaned on his breast at table, For, "the Lord Jesus shall change fell at his feet as dead, when he apour vile body, that it may be peared to him in glory; we shall fashioned like to his glorious body, find our views enlarged, and expect

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